The Orlando Real - Theme Parks

Orlando is the theme park capital of the world! With 10 theme parks in the central Florida area, there’s never a dull moment. Whether you're a thrill seeker looking for the latest and greatest attraction news, a foodie trying to find a brand new savory concoction from Disney, or looking for the history of Orlando's theme park, We've got your back. The Orlando Real is your home for theme park news.

By Holley Long

Something you can count on in Orlando is that its theme parks will always see updates to meet the needs and interests of guests. And this fall, there are several big ones. Read on to learn what new things are in effect (or soon to be in effect) at the parks this season.   

Trams Returning to Disney Parks’ Parking Lots 

red disney tram

Image by WDW News Today

The trek back to your car after a long day at Walt Disney World’s theme parks is about to get a whole lot easier, thanks to the return of parking lot trams at Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. The trams had already returned to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. 

The trams, which transport theme park guests from the front of the park (or, in Magic Kingdom’s case, the front of the Ticket &…

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By Holley Long

Horror fans, rejoice! The Halloween Horror Nights Tribute Store has opened at Universal Studios, just in time for the first night of the annual HHN event. This year’s shop has a comic book store-inspired exterior, but inside the comic, drawings and speech bubbles come off the page. I took a walk through the store, and its immersive theming did not disappoint. 

The Theme

The storefront quickly draws you in, with window displays of comics (of course) as well as children’s books, board games, and figurines.

front of tribute store with green paint

As a Universal Monsters fan, I was thrilled to see references to Frankenstein, the Mummy, and more through the glass. 

 

The entry is full of references to three decades worth of horror nights…

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By Holley Long

Walt Disney World resorts are magical places to spend a vacation, but did you know you don’t have to book a stay to enjoy some of the perks? Even if you aren’t a resort guest, there are several things you can do on property to get a whole Disney experience—and many of them are free! 

Sing with Chip ‘n’ Dale at Fort Wilderness 

family at a campfire with chip and dale

Get your voice ready for a good old fashioned sing-along at Fort Wilderness. While a guitar-strumming cowboy croons classic favorites, the furry duo Chip ‘n’ Dale will come out to play and dance with kiddos, signing autographs and taking photos as well. 

There’s also a campfire for roasting marshmallows, so you can create the perfect s’more. Bring your own supplies or purchase a s’mores kit from the…

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By Roger Jimenez

SeaWorld Orlando has just released some of their best deals of the year, which are now available for K-12 Florida teachers and guests who are looking to add some aquatic adventure to their schedule.

Seaworld Teacher Cards

In an initiative to help teachers elevate their educational efforts, SeaWorld Orlando is once again offering COMPLIMENTARY SeaWorld Florida Teacher Cards to all active and certified K-12 Florida teachers. These free Teacher Cards will give Florida teachers unlimited admission to SeaWorld Orlando from now through September 5, 2024. Register today!

Registration Requirements

Teachers MUST pre-register online on GovX to receive the SeaWorld Florida Teacher Card eVoucher. To ensure that each teacher receives…

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By Holley Long

Walt Disney World is constantly updating its services, from the park reservation system to rides, in order to make sure its guests have a more convenient and comfortable visit. One such update has been ongoing since the beginning of the year. Disney announced that the beloved Trail’s End Restaurant would close for refurbishment back in January, and now the restaurant has finally reopened—with some changes. 

What is Trail’s End Restaurant?

Tucked away in the back of Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground (in an area called the “Settlement”) is the cozy Trail’s End Restaurant. The restaurant is in the same space as other places of interest, like the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue dinner show, Crockett's Tavern (which has also seen some…

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By Jessica LaVigne

The rumors are true - death eaters are officially entering Diagon Alley for the first time this Fall!

This experience will start on September 1 and run through the Halloween season to November 4.

If you've been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade over the summer, you may have already seen these Death Eaters wandering around. However, this will be the first time that they enter the opposite side of the land to interact with witches and wizards wandering the streets of London. With Halloween quickly approaching, this new addition will bring the darker part of the magic of this area to life.

 
Official release by Universal Orlando Resort:

"A sinister energy will fill the air in Diagon Alley as guests…

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By Jessica LaVigne

Today's the day! Minion Land on Illumination Avenue is officially open to all park guests, and includes so many themed experiences for Minion-lovers to enjoy. From banana-flavored popcorn at Pop-a-Nana, to Minion merchandise at the Evil Stuff retail store, you won't leave empty handed in this new land! And let's not forget about the brand new attraction, Illumination's Villain-Con Minion Blast, where you can blast your way to villain stardom.

Since the beginning of this year, we've seen this land progress a lot since Universal released the official concept art back in May. With so many guests visiting the Universal Orlando Resort on a daily basis, its no wonder that this project was completed in record time!

minion land marquee with three people in front


“We are…

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By Holley Long

It’s that time of year again: EPCOT’s International Food and Wine Festival is here for 2023! With menus featuring unique culinary delights, you can sample delicacies at food booths, or global marketplaces, throughout the park. 

The number of dishes and sips to try can be quite overwhelming, though, so we’ve pulled together five must-try items at the festival this year! 

Traditional Buffalo Wings (Brew-Wing Lab)

Located at the large Odyssey Pavilion near the start of the World Showcase is Brew-Wing Lab, a Muppet-themed marketplace with an assortment of interestingly flavored wings, drinks, and plant-based dishes (not sure what you’re in the mood for? The Muppets made a flow chart to help you figure it out).

cartoon-like map of food based experiments with geometric wall behind

Call me…

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By Yasmene Warren

When you’re envisioning top-of-the-line, high-class fine dining, you don’t picture anywhere in Florida, right? Well, you’d be wrong for that, because of all the best eateries in the country, number one rests right here in Orlando. It’s Victoria & Albert’s, and we’re going to tell you all about what landed them the top spot in the US.

What is Victoria & Albert’s?

Victoria & Albert’s is an upscale dining experience located in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Walt Disney World.

The dining at this establishment is inspired by Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Celebration, and its craft has earned Victoria & Albert’s a variety of awards.

white plate with seafood dish and cream sauce poured on top

The restaurant has been awarded the AAA Five Diamond Award since 2000, has been a Forbes…

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By Holley Long

Something exciting is almost complete right next to the Walt Disney World Resort area! Under construction just outside of Disney Springs is Evermore, a 1,000+ acre vacation resort. A redevelopment of the former Villas of Grand Cypress Golf Resort, Evermore, when finished, will offer guests a full range of experiences, from low-key to luxury. 

Read on to learn what to expect from this upcoming resort! 

evermore branded towel on a lounge chair

Accommodations

Evermore will have many different types of accommodations suitable for travel parties of any size.

 

Highly anticipated is Conrad Orlando, a 433-room hotel with five restaurants and lounges serving unique cuisines. The hotel also has a motor coach that can take guests to Walt Disney World, which is just…

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